“If you love a flower don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation” – Osho
Before the term Millennial generation was coined, there was Generation X. One popular film that depicts the culture of Gen-X is 1994’s Reality Bites which was directed by Ben Stiller. This is one of my most favorite films of all time and the soundtrack also carries the most influential tracks of that era like Stay by Lisa Loeb.
Reality bites main characters, Lelaina and Troy (Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke), was probably one of the most romantic onscreen lovers I’ve ever seen. I remember watching it on TV in the early 2000’s and I was totally blown away by the last scene, thinking someday I hope to be like Troy Dyer.
What added to the charm of Reality Bites is the song All I Want Is You by U2. The song is actually dedicated to Bono’s wife Ali and released way back in 1988.
You say you want
Diamonds on a ring of gold
You say you want
Your story to remain untold
But all the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you.
This is perhaps one of the most romantic love songs of all time. It gives a mood of loneliness and hope wrapped into one. And listening to it just makes you want to light up a cigar and be the song.
But what captivated me most about this song is the music video. The music video was released on 1989. It is about a dwarf’s unrequited love towards the lady trapeze artist, set in a gloomy setting of a travelling circus. It is a typical love triangle, but wait ’til you see the convoluted ending.
The dwarf confidently went up to the trapeze, jumped and the video cuts to a coffin carried at a funeral. It is then revealed that the dwarf is still alive.
My personal interpretation on this surreal sequence is that, the dwarf climbing the trapeze is a symbolism of self-discovery and empowerment. Often times we feel like a dwarf in our extremely judgmental society. We belittle ourselves seeing those who seem to be richer, better looking and more popular than us. By loving ourselves, discovering ourselves and being authentic shall we find true happiness and contentment. As seen in the music video, after the dwarf jumped he was able to attain clarity as he soars above everyone else suggesting that he rose above the reality he knew and that he has opened another aspect of his being.
In his lucid state, he saw that the woman he wanted was empty and dead on the inside. Succumbing to the unforgiving eyes of conformity. Then it dawned to him, that he no longer wanted her for he is already in a different frequency of reality. What once he considered as unfathomable is now up for grabs. Even more, he was able to comprehend a higher level of consciousness.
My realization in U2’s music video reinforced the idea that my existence is a necessity. We are made for a purpose. We are actually more than who we really are right now. We are bigger than the matrix. We should stand proud of who we are and make the best out of this mortal body.
Finally, it is said in that love can transcend time and space, but at the onset, comprehending the true meaning of All I Want Is You is learning how to love ourselves.
(Winona Ryder) Lelaina Pierce: I was really going to be somebody by the time I get 23.
(Ethan Hawke) Troy Dyer: Honey, all you have to be by the time you’re 23 is yourself.
Lelaina Pierce: I don’t know who that is anymore.
Lelaina Pierce: I do. And we all love her. I love her. She breaks my heart again and again, but I love her.